Ladybug Party

Ok…so your kid’s dream party is a LADYBUG PARTY. Nice choice! Here are some dead easy ideas to help you.

Filled Ladybug Treat Bag

Why stick to normal old red balloons when you can have red ones with black spots! Keep the red and black ladybug feel without being dull - get some bright red plain balloons, some black paper and double sided sticky tape. Create your own spots by sticking circles of black paper about 5 cms diameter all over the balloons for an instant exciting ladybug effect! If you can’t get your paws on double sided tape then use ordinary sticky tape. All you do is cut a piece and wrap it round your finger - sticky side out, dear, sticky side out! - and make a circle. Stick the circle on to the black spot and then press the whole thing on to the balloon.

Great isn’t it? And don’t you feel such a nice sense of achievement?!

You are on a roll, have a bash at this one…

• Do the same with a plain red plastic table cover too. It looks just fantastic, trust me, it really does. Get more black paper and make bigger spots – go really wild if you want and make them different sizes ? Stick them all over the plastic cloth in gay abandon! It’s original - and it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg to create a wonderful atmosphere which just has to be a bonus ?

Ok…ready for the next one? This is simple. A bug head band. Keep to the red and black colour theme for the best effect. You’ll need to use your kid’s head as a template for the size of the headband. This is the part in the craft session where you start using bribery with chocolate if the little ‘light of your life’ is giving you a hard time by not standing still to be measured. Amazing what can be accomplished with a bag of lollies isn’t it? Anyway, here you go…

• Make a ‘bug’ headband for each guest using a strip of coloured card and two straws or pipe cleaners with fluffy craft bobbles on top for antennae –or raid the bathroom cupboard and use small cotton wool balls. Stick everything together with the good old sticky tape. Don’t you just love that stuff?!

Ladybug Cake Topper Candles
Ladybug Cake Topper Candles

Ladybug Cake for people who aren't great cooks!

Go on…give this a go - and if all else fails you can always secretly give it to the dog. He’ll be a very willing silent ‘partner in crime’.

Ladybug Cake

Make a cake that looks like a ladybug.

Ladybug Cake

You will need:

• 1 large pudding bowl for the body – check out the picture to give you an idea of sizes

• 1 smaller pudding bowl for the head

• Baking paper to line the bowls so that it’s easier to get the cooked sponges out

• 2 pkts of sponge cake mix from the supermarket

• 3 cups or more red frosting or butter icing coloured with red food dye (Butter icing is dead easy to make. It’s just sieved icing sugar and soft butter beaten together. Use about 2 times more icing sugar than butter and make it so it’s like toothpaste consistency. Add a couple of drops of milk if it’s too stiff –but it’s very easy to overdo it so be careful - drop by drop is best or you’ll get into one heck of a state)

• Junior M & Ms or mini Smarties

• 2 green gumdrops

• Black shoestring liquorice

Ok… so here’s what you do:

1. First off you’d better put the oven on at the temperature advised on the sponge packet or you aren’t going to get anywhere

2. Line the 2 pudding bowls with the baking paper – cut to fit reasonably well but no need to be really fussy. It just makes it so much easier to turn the sponges out of the bowls and stops all the swearing and cursing

3. Make up the sponge mix as directed on the packets

4. Pour the stuff into 2 pudding bowls – you’ll probably have too much for the smaller bowl so doesn’t waste it! You could let the kids lick the bowl now and be ‘the best parent in the whole wide world’ but I’d give the bigger bowl a bit more mixture instead. Your ladybug will have a nice chubby ladybug body…and better her than you so maybe you should lay off licking the bowl out too.

5. The smaller sponge will be ready quicker than the big one so keep your eye on it in the oven. Check them by pressing the sponges gently in the middle with your finger. If you leave a bit of a dent in the top then they aren’t cooked. The sponges should spring back into shape and feel spongy. You can also check to see if the middle is done by pushing a metal skewer (or something similar) down into the middle. If it comes out clean then everything’s fine. If it’s got sponge mix sticking to it then put the bowl back in the oven for a bit longer. When the sponges are cooked – let them cool off a little before turning them out of the bowls. Leave them ‘dome side up’.

6. When they are completely cold put them on your serving plate and then cover them with the red frosting. Don’t even think about doing this if the sponges are still a little bit warm – the frosting will melt and you will get into one heck of a mess. Whack the frosting on the sponges in quite a thick layer and smooth it over – but be gentle and don’t muck around with it too much otherwise you’ll ‘churn up’ sponge crumbs into the frosting and your ladybug’s red coat will have cake bits in it. If this does happen then just don’t panic! Either pick them out or, when you go on to the next stage of decorating the red body with Smarties, push the Smarties into the red frosting on top of any dodgy bits to camouflage it.

7. Ok – so now you have a nice spotty body. Wonderful!

8. Put the green gumdrop eyes on with a Smartie pupil – use a bit of frosting to stick the pupil on.

9. Cut some liquorice for a little smiley mouth and the liquorice antennae. Put those on the cake and you are done!!

There you go…too easy!! Looks fantastic ?

Now that wasn’t TOO stressful was it!?

Sandwiches …that sounds SO boring especially at a party but try these ideas. It’s the shape that kids love so use your cookie cutters. They are quick and easy. No cookie cutters? Don’t give up! Make up a sandwich and cut out a shape using a sharp knife.

• Butterfly-shaped sandwiches with a thin strip of carrot down the centre for a butterfly body.

pullback ladybug
Pullback Ladybug

• Flower and love heart shaped sandwiches.

Ever eaten a caterpillar? No? Never? I bet you’ll try this one…

• Make a fruit caterpillar by placing a wriggly line of grapes and melon balls down a platter

However full you feel after a meal there’s ALWAYS room for desert especially these little Jelly Ladybugs

• Make up a red jelly as directed on the packet.

• Pour into plastic cups after it has cooled slightly.

• Put in the refrigerator until set

• Turn out onto plates

• Decorate using liquorice for the legs or chocolate drops/buttons for the spots

Or these wonderful little creatures…

Strawberry ice-cream ladybugs

Scoop of ice-cream shaped into a ball, decorated with chocolate dots, and liquorice for legs and antennae

The kids will love ‘em!

After eating all this food the kids will be thirsty…so serve up some of this…

Ladybug juice!

Serve fruit juice or cordial (red if you dare!) from a jug with black cardboard dots stuck on the outside

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